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Mayor Regencia suspended

The Office of the President through the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) served March 26, the 6-month Suspension Order for Abuse of Authority on Mayor Celso G. Regencia despite a blockade of supporters.

The Mayor was not around to receive the Order so the DILG posted a copy on a prominent spot on the wall of City Hall.

According to the 5-page decision signed by Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa, Jr. by Authority of the President, Regencia was found guilty of Abuse of Authority and is meted the said penalty in accordance with Section 60 of Republic Act 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code.

It appears that on January 15, 2014, Regencia issued a Memorandum Order addressed to OIC City Human Resource Management Officer Rosa B. Edrozo, City Budget Officer Marina J. Jumalon, OIC City Accountant Delia B. Sausa and City Treasurer Louela S. Mabituin directing that “all job orders and deployments should be approved by the Office of the Chief Executive regardless of their charges. Hence, job orders and deployments not approved by the undersigned should not be processed for payment.”

Regencia alleged that the issuance of the said memorandum was occasioned by allegations of ghost casual employees and unusual number of casual employees being hired by the Sangguniang Panglunsod.

The Decision stated that the authority to hire employees of the Sangguniang Panglunsod belongs to the Vice Mayor.

It further stated: “The evidence on record clearly establishes the Respondent’s disregard of the law. Despite the clear language of Section 456 RA 7160 respondent unjustly removed from the Vice Mayor his authority to appoint employees of the Office of the Vice Mayor and the Sangguniang Panglunsod. This office cannot accept respondent’s explanation that his Job Order Memorandum was issued to curb the influx of ghost employees. Other than his bare allegations, respondent did not adduce any evidence to prove the existence of ghost employees in the city government, particularly in the Sangguniang Panlungsod. Bare and unsubstantiated allegations do not constitute substantial evidence and have no probative value.”

The dispositive portion of the OP decision stated: “WHEREFORE, as recommended by the DILG, Mayor Celso G. Regencia is hereby found guilty of ABUSE OF AUTHORITY and is meted the penalty of SIX (6) MONTHS SUPENSION from office.”

The decision was dated March 2, 2015. 

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